The show, sponsored by Southwest Colorado Concerts, was the nonprofit’s first attempt to feature all-local musicians on the bill, which proved to be a hit with the crowd, whose temperament ranged from reverent during quiet ballads to rambunctious when a familiar musician graced the stage.
Even in the darkened room, heads bobbed and shoulders swayed to hits like “Blue Moon” and “House of the Rising Sun.”
Other songs for the night included “Misty,” “Night and Day,” “Road Song” and “Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans?”
Starting off the show was Mancos-based swing jazz group, We-4. Mancos flutist Linda Baker and her nimble jazz flute solos were a hit with the crowd, as well as Mike Bordeman’s “electric washboard.”
In addition to providing traditional backing percussion sounds, the washboard also featured a comical vocal loop that Bordeman demonstrated on a crowd-pleasing solo, garnering laughs and applause.
Another highlight of the evening was Newnam’s protege, Skyler Smith, joining him on stage for accompaniment and his own trumpet solo.
Smith, an M-CHS student, has been studying with Newnam for the past two years. While Smith deftly navigated his challenging uptempo solo, Newnam beamed with pride.
“I can’t tell you how good it felt to hear Spencer to do that,” he said afterward.
M-CMS librarian Terry Wells wowed the crowd with her powerful yet smooth vocal performance of “Night and Day.” Pagosa Springs saxophonist Bob Hemenger’s jazz twist on Patsy Cline’s “Crazy” was warmly received, and Mancos pianist Lee Bartley showcased his talent win an original composition on piano.
Many of the 14 featured musicians play together regularly, and their energy and respect for one another’s talents shined through every note.
“We were thrilled with the audience reaction Saturday night: so many comments on the high quality of the musicians and the great sense of community the concert engendered,” said SWCC board president Joyce Stevenson. She noted that based on feedback from concert attendees and musicians, a locals concert is in the cards in the future, and those interested in performing in the future should contact SWCC.
The next performance sponsored by Southwest Colorado Concerts is Monday March 30, featuring Quarteto Gelato, a “world-famous” Canadian multi-instrumental group. The show is at 7 p.m. at the M-CHS auditorium. For more information on tickets: Call Lindsay Havran at 565-7676 or Joyce Stevenson at 565-4757.